It has been more than two years since I've posted an entry on this blog. What full years they have been! I don't know how I can possibly share everything of importance, yet stay clear and concise, but I'll try!
Zhanna and Ella have grown so much since the last post. I reread what I had written then, and they almost seem like different girls. Not that we don't still deal with some normal attitudes and issues, but truly not many. The closed in, protective nature they both exhibited then has all but dissipated. They hug us and love us and say thank you all the time, and we have some really good and deep conversations now.
The most important part of their growth has been of a spiritual nature. They both love God deeply and want to live for Him. Zhanna was baptized a year ago in March, and Ella was baptized this July. Praise God! The second important area of growth has been emotionally. They both seem settled and open and trusting now. There is no doubt they are our children. It's like they always were!! God is amazing how He brings families together! Thirdly, the girls have grown mentally. They are both excellent students now. Ella got straight A's this past year, all year long! Zhanna had mostly A's with a couple of B's. Fantastic grades! In addition, they and two of their friends did a group exhibit project for National History Day this year, and placed 2nd in the Nation! Wow! We are so proud of them! What accomplished children we have ~ praise be to God!
God is definitely at work, in us, around us, and through us, in spite of our weakness and ineptness. We see this through our "Ukrainians," and through our older two kids, Nathan and Annie. Nathan is in law school now, and just got back from an 8-week internship in Uganda. He served in an anti-corruption court. He had a blessed and rich experience. Annie continues to work on her degree in Music Education, and performed her senior voice recital in May. Beautiful, fabulous, marvelous! We are so proud!
We also see God in others who are striving to serve Him and adore Him and bring more children to Him. Friends of ours from church are at this present time in Ukraine adopting Julia, one of Zhanna and Ella's best friends in the orphanage there. This all came about in a sweet and special and "God" way. We're so proud of Billy and Connie for stepping out in faith. Today was their court day (adoption day, if you will). They must now wait 10 days, and then they can bring Julia home. We're so excited!
Another dear friend, Regina, is in the processing of adopting an unknown child from Russia. She has her homestudy done and is beginning the international process. Prayers are appreciated there. If you want to follow her story you may at loveinfaithjourney.blogspot.com .